How to Turn Photos Into Coloring Pages for Children: a GIMP Tutorial
A Coloring Book: Starring You!
Creating a coloring book with a specific child as the main character is a wonderful way to brighten any five year old's day. Using the free photo editing software known as The GIMP, anyone can create designer coloring pages to surprise the youngest members of the family. These coloring pages can be bound into a book for a gift, or for use as an experience book (a language building method for children with various hearing or language difficulties).
Color a Memory
Step 1: Create a Duplicate Layer: Use Edge Detect
- Go to FILE and OPEN the selected image.
- Go to COLORS and DESATURATE the image (the method doesn't matter: choose lightness, luminosity, or average).
- Go to WINDOWS and select DOCKABLE DIALOGS. From the drop-down window, select LAYERS.
- A new layers window will open up. Click on the overlapping photo icon in the layers window to DUPLICATE LAYER. Alternately, go to the LAYERS tab and select DUPLICATE LAYER.
- Select the new, duplicate layer.
- Go to FILTERS, then select EDGE-DETECT. From the drop down window, select EDGE.
- A pop-up window will appear. Verify the chosen algorithm is SOBEL (this should be the default) and then select BLACK among the three options (smear and wrap are the other options).
Step 2: Set Layers to Divide and Darken Image Lines
- Go to the LAYER WINDOW and change the mode from "normal" to DIVIDE.
- The photo will now appear as a black-and-white line drawing. If the drawing is too light, you will need to apply the Edge Detect/Sobel effect again.
Increase the Detail and Make the Coloring Page Bolder
- Ensure the duplicate layer is still highlighted. Go to FILTERS and select EDGE DETECT and EDGE. From the pop-up window, select SOBEL and BLACK as the options.
- Repeat Step 1 until the coloring page has a detailed, finished look.
- Go to FILE and SAVE the image with an identifying file name.
The Many Uses of Personalized Coloring Pages
Print the coloring pages and use them for gifts, classroom lesson plans, or unique wall art. If printed onto an iron-on transfer, the image can be printed onto T-shirts. Be creative, and inspire a budding young artist to break out the crayons and color a very unique picture!